Reclamation and Arizona
Saboteurs Foiled

Sabotage, the kind that dealt serious blows to the Nation's industrial plant in World War I, might have succeeded in World II. Had it done so, Bureau of Reclamation projects--the dams that produced war power, the reservoirs that stored life-giving water for crops, the farms that grew food for the Nation--would have been almost certain targets.

Take Boulder Dam, for instance. More than half of all the hydroelectric power used in southern California was generated there. Damage to this plant would have been damage to United States' fighting capacity.

There was no successful sabotage here, however, nor at any of the other Reclamation projects that enabled the West to produce more for victory. And this despite the fact that these projects were show places from which--even during a global war--the public could not be entirely barred.

Complete absence of sabotage was not coincidental. It was the result of careful planning and precautions, of constant checking and cooperation by the Bureau of Reclamation, the armed services, and local people.

Reclamation Rangers at Boulder grew from a prewar staff of 8 men to 64. They maintained a 24-hour boat patrol on Lake Mead, and a million persons, between Pearl Harbor and VJ-Day, were convoyed across the dam and through the project's restricted area. Many arrests were made for the military, and potential saboteurs were stopped before they could go into action.

Source: "The Reclamation Era", June 1946

[ Return to Top ]